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Railway Dreaming: Lessons for Economic Regulators from Aboriginal Resource Management Lore

By Nick Wills-Johnson


Railway reform in the past decade has seen the introduction of mandated third party access to track in a number of jurisdictions. This article argues that third party access changes the property rights associated with railway track, rendering it a common pool resource. As such, it is useful to ask whether the literature on the governance of common pool resources could inform the economic regulation of railways. This article suggests that it might, and draws some lessons from the common pool resource governance mechanisms traditionally used by Australia's Aborigines in managing their land that may have application within the context of the railways. Copyright 2010 by The Policy Studies Organization.

DOI identifier: 10.1111/j.1541-1338.2009.00426.x
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